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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Noah S. Podolefsky, Katherine K. Perkins, and Wendy K. Adams
This paper extends prior research on student use of computer simulations (sims) to engage with and explore science topics, in this case wave interference. We describe engaged exploration; a process that involves students actively interacting with educational materials, sense making, and exploring primarily via their own questioning. We analyze interviews with college students using PhET sims in order to demonstrate engaged exploration, and to identify factors that can promote this type of inquiry. With minimal explicit guidance, students explore the topic of wave interference in ways that bear similarity to how scientists explore phenomena. PhET sims are flexible tools which allow students to choose their own learning path, but also provide constraints such that students' choices are generally productive. This type of inquiry is supported by sim features such as concrete connections to the real world, representations that are not available in the real world, analogies to help students make meaning of and connect across multiple representations and phenomena, and a high level of interactivity with real-time, dynamic feedback from the sim. These features of PhET sims enable students to pose questions and answer them in ways that may not be supported by more traditional educational materials.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Inquiry Learning
- Instructional Material Design
= Simulation
- Technology
= Computers
= Multimedia
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Interference and Diffraction
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Graduate/Professional
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Article
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
- Educators
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Formats:
application/pdf
text/html
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.6.020117
NSF Number:
0817582
PACSs:
01.40.-d
01.50.H-
01.50.Lc
Keywords:
Computer Simulations, PhET
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 27, 2011 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 20, 2012 by Vince Kuo
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 5, 2010
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
N. Podolefsky, K. Perkins, and W. Adams, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6 (2), 020117 (2010), WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10747&DocID=2210).
AJP/PRST-PER
N. Podolefsky, K. Perkins, and W. Adams, Factors promoting engaged exploration with computer simulations, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6 (2), 020117 (2010), <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10747&DocID=2210>.
APA Format
Podolefsky, N., Perkins, K., & Adams, W. (2010, October 5). Factors promoting engaged exploration with computer simulations. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 6(2), 020117. Retrieved October 23, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10747&DocID=2210
Chicago Format
Podolefsky, N, K. Perkins, and W. Adams. "Factors promoting engaged exploration with computer simulations." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6, no. 2, (October 5, 2010): 020117, http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10747&DocID=2210 (accessed 23 October 2014).
MLA Format
Podolefsky, Noah S., Katherine Perkins, and Wendy Adams. "Factors promoting engaged exploration with computer simulations." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6.2 (2010): 020117. 23 Oct. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10747&DocID=2210>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Noah S. Podolefsky and Katherine Perkins and Wendy Adams", Title = {Factors promoting engaged exploration with computer simulations}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {6}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020117}, Month = {October}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%A Noah S. Podolefsky
%A Katherine Perkins
%A Wendy Adams
%T Factors promoting engaged exploration with computer simulations
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 6
%N 2
%D October 5, 2010
%P 020117
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10747&DocID=2210
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Podolefsky, Noah S.
%A Perkins, Katherine
%A Adams, Wendy
%D October 5, 2010
%T Factors promoting engaged exploration with computer simulations
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 6
%N 2
%P 020117
%8 October 5, 2010
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10747&DocID=2210


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

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